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News

  • Nigerian serial entrepreneur’s HopStop acquired by Apple

    Last week Apple acquired the Nigerian tech entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo's HopStop. The startup is part of a legacy Echeruo is currently building and plays a crucial role in Apple's aim to become on par with Google Maps. After working for Mergers & Acquisitions in the US, serial entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo founded HopStop in 2005. This came after being involved in Financing and Private Equity transactions. He's also known for having found another startup called Tripology that was bought by the American travel and navigation information company Rand McNally. Both these startups were bought for a total of US$8-million. Echeruo grew...

  • Savannah Fund Accelerator to launch second programme soon

    The popular East African Savannah Fund Accelerator is launching its second class this August. The programme will cohort up to five startups for three months. Successful startups also stand a chance of gaining US$25 000 of capital in return for a 15% of equity stake. The Savannah Fund Accelerator programme for this August has received close on 200 applications from across Africa. The majority being from the East Africa and, more specifically Kenya. As the accelerator argues, one of the biggest benefits of the programme is the mentoring it offers. This is one of the problems startups often experience...

  • OLX takes top spot in SA ecommerce stakes

    Good news for Naspers shareholders: OLX, the online classifieds platform it bought a major stake in back in 2010, can now lay claim to being South Africa's number one ecommerce platform. OLX came out tops in a report released by global emerging markets research firm Jana. The Insights on the e-commerce preferences of African consumers survey was conducted across India, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa. When respondents were asked what their favourite website was for purchasing goods, OLX came out tops in both South Africa and Kenya. “With regard to security, OLX ads are moderated before...

  • FNB announces search for ‘next great innovator’

    Reckon you've got the next great innocation up your sleeve? Then South African banking giant FNB wants to hear from you. The bank, which last year claimed the title of world's most innovative bank at the BAI Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards, today announced the launch of the “Ideas Can Help” competition. The competition brief, says FNB, is to be creative, be original, while making a real difference to communities in South Africa. The winner will receive R 500 000 to develop their idea plus a one year Business Development Programme / Incubation from the Vumela Enterprise Development Fund....

  • Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi drives into Nigeria with global expansion

    Latin American taxi app today Easy Taxi announced its global expansion in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The company recently received an additional funding of US$10-million from Rocket Internet and African Internet Holding, which is helping fast track its growth strategy. The service works very much like Uber or similar cab services like Hailio. Download the Easy Taxi app, available for iOS, Android and the new BlackBerry devices, confirm your pickup point and order your cab. Users then receive confirmation of the name, photo and car model/plate of your driver, and will be able to follow the vehicle’s...

  • Wits University to conclude MIT tech entrepreneur incubation programme

    As we reported last month, the Johannesburg Centre of Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University is responsible for TechinBraam -- a new tech hub that focuses on innovation in the area. Now, the JCSE has been responsible for hosting an entrepreneurship training programme that was presented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and funded internationally by Google. The programme comes from a multidisciplinary group of MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives that focuses on encouraging tech development for emerging markets. Known as MIT AITI, this initiative involves a six week long incubator programme and included more than thirty engineering...

  • SEACOM goes social: plans community outreach programmes in Africa

    Cable and communications company, SEACOM is today celebrating the anniversary of its commercial launch by committing itself to community outreach programmes across the African continent. Going by the tagline "Building the African Internet," the company is mainly known for launching Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the eastern and southern coastlines in 2009. This year's initiatives revolve mainly around ICT and social development. Community projects across Africa are being carried out in an effort to further the company's social investment programme in the name of Foundation Day. In South Africa, the company will focus its efforts on Tembisa High...

  • Restaurant finder app Zomato finally serves up Cape Town

    Today Zomato launched its restaurant discovery service in Cape Town, a crucial step to expand and gain better reach in South Africa for a company which is one of the few catering to this market. Zomato’s award-winning app is location-aware and suggests the best restaurants near a user's physical location. The service integrates social features for a rich and credible content base. Users can choose specific networks or friends to follow and get restaurant recommendations from them. One of the company's main strengths is the thorough information the Zomato app provides. Users have access to scanned menus, reviews, photos and mapped coordinates. It's available for...

  • OnePixel says we need more ‘apps for Africa’

    OnePixel chief operating officer Nicholas Rixon gives us a lowdown of his interpretation on the mobile tech scene in Africa. Focusing on smartphone applications, he says that there’s a great need for African apps that solve African problems on the continent but the continent is not there just yet. OnePixel is a South African-based mobile software development company. By using cloud-based environment for the company’s apps, OnePixel aims to bring the offline and online user experiences to the user as well as the application’s product brand. Rixon refers to these as “Apps for Africa” and says that, when played right, there...

  • FlipOver.org wants to ‘flip social challenges’ through crowdsourcing

    Today Flipover.org has announced its partnership with Indonesia's largest non-profit youth organization Karang Taruna. The aim in this partnership is to connect Indonesia's local neighborhood entrepreneurs to the global crowdsourcing community. FipOver.org is an Indonesian-based that creates awareness and uses crowdsourcing as a platform to "flip social challenges to individuals to empower change." This is mainly done on a global scale-- connecting social entrepreneurs that use crowdsourcing to co-design solutions. The organization plans to expand to the rest of South East Asia and other emerging markets. Karang Taruna has 10-million active members and although spanning across 500 cities, is mainly...

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